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Lactose intolerance: true or false?

Survey by the Grana Padano observatory reveals that 31% of Italians do not consume any type of milk

Lactose intolerance is often imagined and not real. The only way to verify it is to undergo the Hydrogen Breath Test, performed in a hospital setting. On the other hand, proposals for unscientific tests and self-diagnosis are proliferating, on the internet but also in healthcare environments, which increase the spread of the idea that milk, dairy products and cheeses are bad for health. The experts of the Grana Padano nutritional observatory point out that completely eliminating lactose from the diet can be harmful, because nutrients such as calcium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A, B12 and high biological value proteins with the 9 essential amino acids are consequently eliminated. Furthermore, failure to introduce milk sugar inevitably leads to the loss of the enzyme that digests it, lactase, with the risk of causing more or less serious or temporary intolerances.

"A campaign against milk, dairy products and cheeses has been underway for some years now that is not justified by scientific evidence", explains Prof. Michela Barichella of the University of Milan and member of the scientific committee of the Grana Padano nutritional observatory. " And it is more and more frequent to resort, to replace milk, to vegetable drinks that are not able to sufficiently supply the nutrients contained in milk. Furthermore, many are unaware that even in the case of a true and consistent lactose intolerance, aged cheeses that are naturally lactose-free and contain the nutrients of milk can be taken”.

How many Italians are there who eliminate milk, dairy products and cheeses from their diet? The Grana Padano nutritional observatory (Ogp) has carried out a new survey on the subject, on a sample of 6,000 people, from which it emerges that 31% do not consume any type of milk, 77% do not use whole milk, 41 % does not use semi-skimmed milk. Added to this is that yogurt is not consumed by 30% of the interviewees and that 48% eat less than 100 g of fresh cheese or 50 g of mature cheese per week.

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EFA News - European Food Agency